Keep it FUN!
What elements of your running make it fun for you? Do you run competitively, run for fun, or both ? What are your future running goals and how do they support your lifestyle? Do you find it rewarding to push yourself towards your upper limits or to keep expectations on the lower side? How do you keep your running fun, manage your life, and satisfy all of your personal goals?
By setting goals, establishing a plan, and proper execution you will be on the road to success! The satisfaction that comes with your goal achievement will keep things fun and rewarding at the same time. I think that when balanced correctly running can be a fun lifelong activity and a compliment to everything else you do. That being said, I have seen a number of athletes struggle with keeping this balance between sport and life. Competing at your highest level and keeping it fun and sustainable over time can be a common challenge that you may encounter. Identifying your true level of commitment combined with appropriate goal setting will be the key here. When the goals don’t match ones level of spare time, work schedules, and family life we run into many conflicts. These problems then create an environment where runs are missed, goals aren’t achieved, and running isn’t so much fun. As a coach I have recently emphasized the need for more attention towards this issue and running plans that fit life better.
Running can be much more fun if you keep the balance between life and sport. Your goals of the sport and how you will implement running into your life will be the deciding factor. Tangible goals, attention to the plan, and steadfast execution will guide you in your journey. Whether you’re attempting to qualify for the Olympic Trials, compete locally, or just to stay in shape, we all need a direction in which to run. This destination gives us a purpose and will keep us motivated over time. Running is much more fun when you have a destination!
Running with a destination can serve you in a variety of different healthy ways and lead to an overall good time. The physiological and psychological rewards are significant and can be an integral component in maintaining your overall sanity. How many times have you heard runners refer to their running as a form of personal counseling and well being? The therapeutic qualities of regular running can be huge and can translate across everything else that you do in your life. Use your running to your advantage and let the positive outcomes help to make your days more enjoyable. You will be healthier, fitter, stronger, and ready to tackle all of life’s challenges head on.
(Valeria Curtis: 2019 Houston Marathon)
Is setting ambitious time goals and pushing yourself to the max what really does it for you? From athlete to athlete the goals may be different and the joy of running may hold a different meaning. Valeria is a mother of two, living in Minot North Dakota, with an enlisted husband that is gone away from home for large blocks of time. She runs close to a hundred miles a week and thrives on setting serious running goals. Recently, she narrowly missed her Olympic Trials berth of (2:45) in Houston. Although she missed the goal she remains engaged, hungry, and running for fun in search of this goal in the upcoming season. She does a wonderful job of keeping the balance in life and allowing herself to train at this very high level. Athletes can fall into the trap of setting goals that require too extensive of a plan to fit their lifestyle. When this happens it can lead to a loss of joy for the sport, poor performances, and in some cases being totally burnt out. Keeping the balance with tangible goal setting and plans that support the rest of your life will be huge in keeping it fun for years to come.